Halloween apps and activities for the 1:1 or single iPad classroom and everything in between! Can you believe Halloween is just around the corner? I’m sharing engaging activities on the iPad that use some free Halloween apps and can be integrated into lesson plans in many subject areas and centers. Be sure to download the FREE Halloween writing paper pack in this post too.
My favorite Halloween apps & and how to use them in the classroom
1. Roll & decorate a pumpkin
There are several free pumpkin decorating Halloween apps on the market. Most include several styles of decorations, backgrounds, and pumpkins. I realize that using a Halloween app to decorate a pumpkin isn’t exactly blowing anyone off the SAMR charts.
So I created a game to practice number sense AND decorate the virtual pumpkin. Rather than hand the iPad over and tell kids to go to town, integrate some math into these apps by having students roll, identify the number, and use the grid in my Halloween Roll & Decorate packet.
In this game, students are using the free app Mr. Pumpkin. I like this app because all of the options are included in the free game whereas other popular pumpkin decorating apps use a pay to unlock model. This game is geared towards K-3rd.
Students can then save their finished pumpkins to the camera roll for sharing! I have my students draw a hard copy of their pumpkins as well to hang – we then link these to our digital pumpkins via QR code to save ink. Then my students use the included writing paper to write about their pumpkin. This activity makes for a great center or Halloween whole group game.
2. Sugar-skull Yourself for Symmetry
After learning about the Day of the Dead, I have my students use the directions in my Sugar Skull Selfie packet to take a selfie, upload the selfie as a background in Doodle Buddy, a free drawing app, then use the tools to decorate their own faces.
Since many students may not have background knowledge of Sugar Skulls and their place in the Day of the Dead celebrations, I like to have them research first by reading the nonfiction passage.
I included a QR code in my packet that links to a slideshow of examples to circumvent any sketchiness on Google Images. We make a list of common design elements like flowers, bright colors, hearts, swirls, and diamonds.
Then students use Doodle Buddy or Pic Collage to make their own selfie into a Sugar Skull. While not technically a Halloween app, I’m all about using apps in creative ways.
First students take a selfie and outline using the drawing tools.
Next students use the tools to decorate the skull. They use the elements they viewed in the included QR slideshow.
This lesson could also tie nicely into a math lesson on symmetry since most Sugar Skulls will have a symmetrical design. You could require your students to use symmetry.
My packet includes everything mentioned above – just print and hand out to your students. Even though both apps are relatively easy to use, I do find having a set of visual step-by-step directions handy (either printed at a center or projected on the board) as it helps students work more independently.
3. Have students write spooky stories with Halloween Spooky Sounds
Juice up fiction writing by allowing students to incorporate the sounds included on various free spooky sound Halloween apps. Have students draft a spooky story and include the sounds like a rebus. Then when reading the story aloud, they can press the sound on the iPad for maximum effect!
You can introduce the term onomatopoeia and discuss how to build suspense. With older students, you can demonstrate how to write the sound using quotation marks. No time for a whole story? Have students write sentences to go with each sound picked!
Click to download 4 pages of my FREE “iCan Write a Spooky Story” and “iCan Write Spooky Sentences” writing paper – perfect for drafting these stories:
4. Have students carve a virtual Jack-O-Lantern
Word Work Pumpkins
Shake up your word work activities by having students trace spelling words in bubble letters on eGourd. eGourd is one of several free “pumpkin carving” Halloween apps. I like it because it features a Gourd Cam that superimposes the gourd created over a real background. eGourd has a TON of options for decorating the gourd. Plus, students love being able to select lighting for inside their realistically carved gourd.
Students will need to get used to creating bubble letters. Some students will want to try all uppercase at first. Plus since it is mimicking a real pumpkin carving, students may not be able to add the cut-outs for “o’s” and “e’s.”
But like most multisensory word work activities, the motion students are making to build muscle memory for the shape of the word is more important than the finished product. However, still have students take a picture on the eGourd cam and share finished words for accountability.
Math Fact O’Lanterns
Have students practice writing math facts on their pumpkins. For variety they can roll two dice and use the numbers rolled to make a number sentence. This can be used with any fact for easy differentiation – just use different dice and operations. You may want to have students carve pumpkins out of their trickiest facts to help them stick.
5. Word Work Spider Legs Center on Pic Collage
Use these 52 word work task cards and the included spider image to create Word Study Spiders on the iPad with app Pic Collage. The task cards are for grammar and spelling so choose the ones that fit whatever you are studying or have student’s choose for review.
This resources goes into detail about how it works, but basically students are typing individual words onto the app then arranging and styling them into “legs” for the spider image.
I included a bunch of task card options for differentiation. I also made task cards that are more “Halloween” themed for students that finish the word work center early.
6. Pumpkin Heads on Pic Collage
Use Pic Collage to add a Jack O’ Lantern Head to a student selfie! First have students take a selfie. Then students will use the web image search option in the main menu (press the plus sign to open the main menu). Students should type “pumpkin png” into the URL to search for a pumpkin with a transparent background.
I have students choose a blank pumpkin so they can use the Pen tool to draw on the image. To get the tool, students double touch the Pumpkin picture then choose Enhance and scroll to the Pen. They can draw the outline of the Jack O’Lantern using a thinner line.
Then they can fill in the outline with a thicker line.
Next students touch apply and then insert to put it back onto the collage area. Students should drag and arrange the pumpkin head over their selfie.
Students can then use the text tool to add a message or use the background option to change out the background.
6. Halloween Pic Collage All-About-Me Template
Finally, I created this Pic Collage template and direction pages to guide students to create a recipe of me – or a breakdown of all of their characteristics, interests and likes.
We used this resource in guided math to review fractions. I had students list their characteristics in fractional form and they need to make sure all of their “parts” added up to one.
Students then used the web image search tool, the camera and the clip tool to add ingredients to the brew. We clipped a selfie and a full body image to make it look like our heads were on the platter and our legs were coming out of the brew!
You can adjust this activity for various grade levels and standards. Students could create posters using standard measurements or just adjectives. The resource also comes with a template that does not require student pictures.
Between all of these ideas, we were able to integrate technology across the curriculum in my classroom using all free apps! Plus we could tie a Halloween theme in the month to keep students even more engaged. For more holiday ideas, follow my Holiday Activities board on Pinterest: